Stacie Henderson Capece Minutolo, CMO of the Americas at Tod's, on the Future of Luxury
October 26, 2023
Tod's website
Stacie Henderson Capece Minutolo has spent over 15 years working for global luxury fashion brands such as Versace, Ferragamo, and Tod’s Group. Her expertise includes Marketing, E-commerce, and Digital. Stacie introduces technology to retail and global brands while developing dynamic growth activities that blend online and offline strategies. As an early digital adopter, she oversaw the launch of Versace’s e-commerce business in the US and initiated global digital initiatives such as social media, influencer programs, and live streaming for the brand.

You have spent the past fifteen years in luxury and retail working for global brands such as Versace, Ferragamo, and Tod’s. What have you seen change in the market? 

There are quite few changes that I have seen especially I have see more luxury brands that are open to being pioneers and not followers when it comes to adopting new technologies. I also see luxury brands making digital the center of marketing programs vs. only for amplification. Omni-channel is table stakes at this point. There is less fragmentation between channels (e-commerce and retail stores). Not only from a communication point of view, but also for the consumer experience. In the past five years, I have streamlined messaging across channels, provided training both to in-store and e-commerce members, reviewed and revised various policies, and worked with logistics teams to ensure clients are able to purchase seamlessly across multiple sources (i.e. e-commerce warehouse and entire retail network).

The luxury industry has become more inclusive in terms of its clients. When I first started in luxury, you saw many luxury brands targeting one type of client (i.e. UES lady who lunches, or individuals who live in Tribeca). Now, the luxury fashion industry is much more multi-dimensional in its targeting. Luxury brands understand the power and business potential when one reaches out to various audiences they once might have overlooked both from a spending and cultural point of view. For example, black consumers’ spending on apparel and fashion is projected to grow 6% a year to $70 billion by 2030. 

Doing the same activities to “check the box” no longer moves the needle.

It is imperative that marketers understand clearly what they are trying to achieve, understand the “noise” that consumers experience daily and challenge themselves to develop programming to break through the noise. I always like to recommend at least one program that will take the leadership team out of their comfort zone while ensuring there is a thread of the brand’s DNA. For example, for our most recent Hamptons event, the location and decor felt very Italian, but we gave it a twist and had Salt n Pepa perform. They are icons and we were celebrating our iconic products at Tod’s. It made sense and wasn’t “the expected.” This experience generated over 1.5 billion impressions, was a great experience for our guests, and was named one of the best events in the Hamptons this summer by leading publications. 

Doing the same activities to “check the box” no longer moves the needle.

What marketing trends are you embracing at the moment that you think are going to change the luxury market?

I continue to embrace the blurred lines between offline and online experiences. The days are long gone when activations were done in a silo. However, I still think there is more work to be done here. There has been so much excitement post pandemic to meet in person, but the secret sauce is to move these experiences from a one hit wonder with press into programs that are more inclusive (i.e. go beyond the same guest list/few elite fashion insiders to a much more inclusive and broader audience), embracing digital (not just for amplification, but as a key part of the experience), and seamlessly bringing together these branding experiences with a commercial element.

Also, hyper-Personalization is paramount: the way you communicate with clients so that each client feels the experience. McKinsey conducted a very interesting study and found that 71 percent of clients expect a luxury experience and companies that grow faster drive 40 percent more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.

Finally, we need to start exploring what recurring revenue could look like in luxury. Taking friction out of the e-commerce experience by combining predictive shopping and luxury services. 

What marketing trends do you think are all hype and should be ignored?

This is a very hard question because I feel that marketing trends come and go all the time. Well, one word of caution is that marketers should avoid feeling the need to jump into and stand for things when they really can’t back them up. I think there was a moment when everyone felt they had to say something about every single societal issue. It would be great if your brand could do this, but if it is not really part of your brand identity and you can’t support it in the long term, it may be best to not jump on the bandwagon. The social issue has to mean something for the brand. 

What marketing tools do you use that you are particularly invested in or passionate about?

  • Google Analytics - Still a must to understand business trends and to monitor key KPIs on ecommerce sites. I use Google analytics multiple times a day. 
  • SEMRush - A staple SEO tool. Great for competitive research to understand industry trends for traffic, users. 
  • Milled - My strongest marketing channel is email marketing. I use Milled to review all emails sent by other companies.
  • Attentive - A text messaging platform that is an excellent way to communicate with clients. Its technology allows you to build a quality mobile phone database that highly converts. 

Can you tell us more about Fashion Tech Connects?

Sure, Fashion Tech Connects was created with my Co-founder, Stephanie Horton, because there is a dearth of women of color in the fashion industry. Five years ago, we decided to close the gap. We know that breaking into the industry is extremely difficult. Therefore, we offer paid internships to women of color in leading and startup fashion, beauty, and media companies. We have worked with companies such as Kering, StitchFix, Farfetch, Tory Burch, and Jennifer Behr. We interview over 100 university students every year and match candidates to our partners. 

Who is a woman you admire?

I admire a few women who are my mentors and sponsors. Women whom I’ve worked with over the years and who continue to support me continuously. 

  • ​Isabelle Harvie Watt - She took a gamble on me when I was making a move into fashion (many people told me I would NEVER survive in fashion because I was too nice) and has been instrumental in my career. She is extremely smart, a keen business woman, and knows luxury fashion better than anyone. 
  • Beth Ann Kaminkow - She was my boss and has been an extremely supportive sponsor. She truly believes you can be a boss while leading with love and compassion. I run so many opportunities by her and she always asks, “Do they want what is best for you? Do they have your best interest in mind?” This has helped me make so many wise decisions. 
  • Isolde Brielmaier - She is such a beautiful human. Always checks in on me just because and if I’m up, she celebrates with me and when I’m down, she is the first to lift me up. 
  • Bevy Smith - She is just real, genuinely supportive, believes there is space for everyone at the table, and has really defined what it means to live the life you want. She is a constant reminder that we are the author of our lives and “It Gets Greater Later.

From a distance, I admire women from years ago to those who are in our lives presently who have taken risks, beat the odds, and of course have helped others. I’m speaking of anyone from Harriet Tubman, to Oprah, To RBG. Fearless women who took risks to do the unthinkable.

One word of caution is that marketers should avoid feeling the need to jump into and stand for things when they really can’t back them up. I think there was a moment when everyone felt they had to say something about every single societal issue. It would be great if your brand could do this, but if it is not really part of your brand identity and you can’t support it in the long term, it may be best to not jump on the bandwagon. The social issue has to mean something for the brand.

What’s one thing you cannot live without?

This is so hard. Can I break it down into categories?

People: My boys-- Alessandro and Giovanni. They have taught me unconditional love and have given me a new perspective about life. My colleagues have an expression, “Stacie B.K. and Stacie A.K.” Stacie Before Kids and Stacie After Kids. They basically tell me I’m much more understanding since I’ve had children.

Thing: My phone. It is how I get so much done while constantly on the go. I have meetings in person and / or on zoom from 6am to 8pm almost every day. There is no way I could do this (I don’t have an assistant), manage my boys’ schedules, answer emails from the school, my Milan and Paris offices, etc. without having my phone in hand 24/7.

Work: Work fuels me--in particularly challenging work. I am fortunate that I have found this in the fashion industry. I love what I do. I love solving problems and finding opportunities for growth. With this mentality, I have done things outside of my job description such as, launching e-commerce in the U.S. for Versace, rebuilding brands to make them relevant, and developing programs to ensure client loyalty. It doesn’t really matter how many hours I have to put in or how difficult the work is, the point is to grow. I thrive on it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else! Well, unless it was my own TV show, but who knows--maybe I can do both. Life is what you create. Right?

What’s a trend you see coming in 2024 that excites you?

  • AI: Integrating AI to save time and cost. Of course, AI will be key to delivering hyper- personalized messages to your clients that will fuel growth. 
  • Influencer Marketing: It is such a powerful way to reach multiple groups of engaged audiences. What excites me about this channel is that brands can have intimate relationships with content creators. Therefore, it is not only transactional, but also relationship based. Over $4.1B was spent by marketers in 2022. This is enough to buy Buckingham Palace almost four times (valued at $1.4 B in 2022).
  • Leadership: From a leadership POV, I am hopeful that more organizations understand that they are able to exponentially innovate and grow when they place different people, from different backgrounds in a room. All rooms!! Not only to put them together, but to make sure everyone is heard, respected, and appreciated.

Follow Stacie on social here.

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